A Guide To The Best Vegan Accessories
For us, vegan fashion is more than just about the animals, but also about our planet. So, whilst there are many companies who claim to supply vegan fashion, there are still many of these which make their vegan products using unsustainable materials. We are on a mission to provide you with the most up-to-date and extensive vegan and sustainable fashion guide.
Trying to live a cruelty-free life can sometimes be tricky, especially with so many products on the market that don’t list all of the materials that they are made from. It is particularly frustrating when it comes to accessories, where leather products seem to be the default – in most instances with tags saying ‘real leather’ used to indicate the quality of an item. Yet what if your want a bag, belt or wallet that is of high quality, but not made from animal skin? What choices do you have available?
This guide is dedicated to tips and advice to help you with all of your ethical and practical vegan fashion and accessories shopping needs. Make no mistake, you are not being lazy in going with vegan accessories. Think about it, if we all lived in a world without animals, would we go back to leather as our fashion and accessories choice? Of course not! Leather is made from the hides of slaughtered animals and leather is definitely not vegan, and so trying to use animal products as a fashion or accessory – even though it may be a small part of what you are buying, can be a great way to become a more ethically-aware consumer.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is a lifestyle or a philosophy. It does not mean that you cannot include meat in your diet. In fact, if you are a vegan you are more likely to adopt a vegetarian diet as you do not require animals to be killed for human food. In fact, many vegans are vegetarians as they still eat dairy products and eggs that have not been laid by other species. Vegan beauty products, clothes, skincare, food and even vegan shoes are available, but it is worth finding out exactly what is vegan so you are buying only the finest quality.
Embracing The Vegan Lifestyle
If we are to be completely honest with you, it wasn’t until we stopped to consider the implications of our lifestyle choice that we were shocked to find how damaging it was to the environment. But then, when it’s your children and other family members you are killing, you tend to question how to approach the situation.
The Issue With Leather
When most people think of vegan alternatives to leather, they probably think of vegan leather or faux leather. However, the problem with these materials is that they are almost always just imitations. All imitations are derived from a real material, be it animal, synthetic, plastic or even carbon fibre. These materials might be toxic too.
The materials used for these fake leather products are often not well known and as such are not on the market as easily as leather, which is made from animal skin. What’s worse, the products of imitation leather can be of lower quality and can often be used as raw material to make actual leather. In addition to this, this faux leather has a higher environmental impact as it can be made from petroleum derivatives, which could damage the environment even further. Since materials like plastic, petroleum and carbon fibre are highly toxic and damaging to our health.
Alternative Materials To Leather And Fur
Our picks for vegan accessories for men include Silk Outerwear Leather.
- Top of this list is genuine silky stuff. Whilst, leather is definitely the best choice, when looking for a more eco-friendly option, the following companies sell great vegan leather garments. We also want to highlight that some brands even have the option to switch to vegan leather; so there is no need to give up leather completely. And if you are feeling experimental, why not try some faux leather or vegan leather weaves?
- Wool: While wool is on the list as a clothing item, as a protective layer, it is definitely not on the vegan list. This is because wool is, unfortunately, one of the most popular fabrics for making clothing. If you are someone who wants to wear more animal-friendly clothing, you should avoid wool.
Just the environmental impact of leather is horrendous, as it is a notoriously poor material choice. Each year, at least 200,000 cows are killed for their hides, with the majority of this ends up as waste in landfills. Around 2 million goats and sheep are killed each year as well for their wool, which is then bleached, which adds to further waste. Animal suffering is also added to as the meat industry consumes over 250 million animals every year.
This is due to the fact that there are simply not enough crops available for grazing. Catering to a specialized market, the majority of the vegans out there need accessories that will suit their exact needs, without them having to compromise on quality and being able to continue to use leather as a material.
There is no shortage of alternative materials for leather – they are all around us. We have more options than ever before when it comes to buying vegan products. This is a good thing – it allows you to choose something that is high quality and that suits your needs and lifestyle.
Here is an option you can consider for buying leather-free accessories:
- Leather-free Nylon – Nylon is a tough and flexible material that can be both sturdy and flexible. When first learning about vegan fashion, some people may assume that nylon is suitable for the purposes of vegan fashion. However, the truth is that nylon is far from vegan as it is made from animal-based products such as dead pigs.
Perhaps the most popular choice for people to choose if they are trying to live a vegan lifestyle is recycled materials. However, recycled material can be made from almost anything, including plant or synthetic materials such as recycled paper, plant fibre, or even plastics. Some of the popular vegan leather products have reclaimed wood used as a non-leather option, which can often be more expensive and less durable.
However, there is a wide range of used and reclaimed products available and often come at a cheaper price as they have little chance of sustaining an animal. Some recycled bags can even be used for furniture or other home accessories. Stainless Steel: Another popular choice for people who want to have the benefits of leather without animal products.
Vegan Fashion Tips
- Buying from ethical shops:
Choose sustainable/vegan clothing over single-use materials, such as leather, wool and silk. And, remember, it’s always better to buy from a responsible and ethical store than from an unscrupulous one.
Transforming clothing into something else. Ask an expert to convert your clothes into jewellery, wall hangings, cushions, phone cases and even robots.
- Reusing clothes you already have:
There’s nothing wrong with picking up your wardrobe’s rejects and transforming them into something entirely new. All it takes is a bit of design ingenuity and a case of old hangers and you have a whole new outfit or a creative art installation.
The Different Vegan Materials
How do we know when something is vegan? Often it is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of vegan. You may not even think about the materials.
- Cotton: Many companies may produce a cotton fabric that is entirely made up of polyester fibres, and for the same reason cotton is not vegan, so are both polyester and acrylic. Polyester will be found in ties, toys, and much more, but there are plenty of good quality alternatives you can use, so we hope you will.
- Synthetic leather: A synthetic leather product can be mistaken for real leather, but this is a dangerous assumption. Synthetic leather is made of plastic and synthetics and is often made of a form of nylon such as the material in satchels.
As mentioned above, there are other options available to make sure you are buying items of high quality for yourself, including many vegan alternatives that have been crafted from plant materials. These products are not strictly cruelty-free and non-toxic, since they contain, at the very least, traces of formaldehyde, which are a by-product of the tanning process.
But they do provide a superior option for those wanting to switch to a vegan lifestyle, without the use of animal products. Rikke Holmquist works as the co-founder and CEO of 365 wearings, a company that aims to supply the accessory industry with leather alternatives. In fact, 365’s brand, Sunquest, was the first vegan footwear brand to have a product on the market in over 100 years.
One good choice is vegan fashion bags. There are many varieties on the market ranging from vintage shopping bags to tiny wallets. For those who like to move around a lot or are on the move often, these are fantastic choices. They are made from a variety of materials including plastic, silicone, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), etc.
In fact, you can even buy a super stylish vegan backpack with functional storage compartments and many other functional compartments! As an added bonus, many of these bags come with a lifetime guarantee! A rarity in the fashion world. Vegan belt bags are also a great choice if you want to look your best, without the guilt.
Most vegan belts are of the satin variety, made from plant-based materials such as organic cotton or hemp. For example, the Unctuous vegan belt is made from 100% organic cotton with a vegan spandex lining, making it comfortable and durable. Made in the USA by the team behind such famous brands as Balmain and The North Face.
The dark side to vegan accessories is that a lot of the materials used for bags and wallets tend to be synthetic – leather and other animal-based materials. That’s not to say that these kinds of items can’t be produced ethically; in fact, vegan designers are constantly coming up with new materials that not only feel good but look good as well.
Many people assume that they need to get a leather wallet to be a true vegan. This is not true, since most of the products on the market are made from synthetic leather. There are a wide variety of options available, and some of the best are made from vegan materials.
Unfortunately, the majority of the products available are from high street brands, and they often have poor quality designs or rough textures which may be difficult to use.
They also usually come in either black or brown. In terms of material, most vegan wallets are made from polyurethane, an acrylic material that is popular for its softness. Some models also include a plastic frame to further increase the flexibility and/or durability of the wallet.
Despite the fact that there are products out there that are vegan, you still may not be sure about what to purchase. Once you have a firm idea of your budget and a reasonable idea of what you want, you’re going to need to do some research into what is out there. While there are many great brands out there, many of them don’t give a clear list of their materials, and some of them can be difficult to even find online.
This is why I have compiled a list of 11 accessory companies that have set themselves apart from the crowd with their ethical and eco-friendly wares. They are the ones you can turn to if you want to go the vegan-friendly route without compromising on quality.
Over the years, sustainable fashion has been growing in popularity. There is no doubt that the amount of fashion worn by people around the world is increasing, creating a huge environmental impact. But there is a choice, a green choice to go green. For more on sustainable fashion, this free article is one you’ll definitely want to check out.
I trust you enjoyed reading this article on A Guide To Vegan Accessories. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experience and remarks about A Guide To Vegan Accessories in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.
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